- Title: SOUTH KOREA: South Koreans urge China not to repatriate North Korean defectors
- Date: 18th February 2012
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (FEBRUARY 17, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ACTIVISTS CHANTING IN FRONT OF POLICE ACTIVISTS STANDING AGAINST POLICE ACTIVISTS CHANTING ACTIVISTS GATHERING AT OPPOSITE SIDE OF CHINESE EMBASSY AND CHANTING VARIOUS OF ACTIVISTS CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN OPPOSITION PARTY LAWMAKER, PARK SUN-YOUNG SAYING: "We Korean people are responsible for North Korean defectors not to be repatriated to North Korea forcibly. China have ignored the international human rights laws, U.N. resolutions and U.N. agreements, and have repatriated North Korean defectors to North Korea forcibly -- that is an inhumane and immoral behaviour, especially by one of G2 nations." ACTIVISTS HOLDING BANNERS CHINESE FLAG SIGNS READING IN KOREAN, "STOP SENDING DEFECTORS BACK TO THE NORTH " VARIOUS OF ACTIVISTS HOLDING BANNERS VARIOUS OF FEMALE DEFECTOR CRYING IN ARMS OF SOUTH KOREAN ACTIVIST
- Embargoed: 4th March 2012 12:00
- Location: Korea, Republic of
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA7LJI83L9MVUT62EEQ5FNEVHFZ
- Story Text: Activists gathered outside the Chinese embassy in Seoul on Friday (February 17) to urge China to stop repatriating North Korean defectors to the isolated state, saying it may put them in danger.
Protesters holding signs reading "stop sending defectors back to the North" rallied and warned that deportations were a breach of human rights.
"We Korean people are responsible for North Korean defectors not to be repatriated to North Korea forcibly. China have ignored the international human rights laws, U.N. resolutions and U.N. agreements, and have repatriated North Korean defectors to North Korea forcibly -- that is an inhumane and immoral behaviour, especially by one of G2 nations," said Park Sun-young of the South Korean opposition party.
In China, those who escape from the impoverished North must avoid Chinese authorities as well as North Korean agents, a network of informants and local forces.
Hundreds are repatriated from China each year, with many possibly sent back to face labour camps and starvation in the secretive country.
Earlier this week, dozens of North Korean defectors called for the repatriations to stop, and accused the North's new leadership, headed by the late Kim Jong-il's youngest son Kim Jong-un, of excessive control.
On Tuesday, (February 14) the South Korean government also called on China to act.
More than 20,000 North Koreans have defected to the South to escape poverty and repression in the North, statistics from Seoul's unification ministry showed.
The two Koreas are still technically at war because an armistice, not a treaty, ended their 1950-53 civil conflict.
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